Home 12x16 12×16 Lean to Pavilion Plans – 4 Post Pavilion

12×16 Lean to Pavilion Plans – 4 Post Pavilion

by Ovidiu


This step by step diy woodworking project is about a 12×16 lean to pavilion plans. This gazebo has only 4 posts and it comes with large openings on all sides. You can build this pavilion with basic materials, as it requires 6x6s, 6x8s and 2x6s for the structure.  A 4 post pavilion offers a minimalist and stable structure that maximizes open space and ensures easy accessibility from all sides.. The roof for this pavilion has a pitch of 3:12.

Make sure you take a look over the local building codes, so you comply with the regulations. Take a look over the rest of our woodworking plans, if you want to get more building inspiration. Check out the Shop, as well, for full list of Premium Plans.

When buying the lumber, you should select the planks with great care, making sure they are straight and without any visible flaws (cracks, knots, twists, decay). Investing in cedar or other weather resistant lumber is a good idea, as it will pay off on the long run. Use a spirit level to plumb and align the components, before inserting the galvanized screws, otherwise the project won’t have a symmetrical look. If you have all the materials and tools required for the project, you could get the job done in about a day.



Projects made from these plans




12×16 Lean to Pavilion Plans – 4 Post Gazebo




Cut and Shopping Lists


 Hammer, Tape measure, Framing square, Level

 Miter saw, Drill machinery, Screwdriver, Sander

 Safety Gloves, Safety Glasses


One week




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It’s that easy to build a pavilion!



How to build a 12×16 lean to pavilion





First, layout the posts for the outdoor pavilion. Use batter boards and string to determine the location of the posts. Apply the 3-4-5 rule to every corner of the gazebo, so you make sure they are right angled. Make sure the diagonals are equal.

Determining the location for the pavilion is essential, as you have to comply with the local building codes. To build a DIY pavilion, start by leveling the ground, ensuring proper drainage, and laying a solid foundation.

Setting the posts in concrete

Setting the posts in concrete

Dig 3 ft holes into the ground, making sure they have about 14″ in diameter. Fit the tubes then the posts into the ground and plumb them with a spirit level.  Fit the anchors and align them, then let the concrete dry out for several days. Read the local codes for more details on how to secure the posts.

Use lag screws to secure the posts to the anchors. Before pouring the concrete you need to make sure the top of the posts are horizontal one to another. Use a laser to mark the level to the top of the posts and use a circular saw, if you need to make cuts.

Installing the posts

Installing the posts

After setting the posts into place, check if they are level and user a circular saw to make corrections. Notice the temporarily braces that hold the posts plumb. Leave the braces into place until you finish the assembly of the pergola. The temporarily braces will give support to the structure.

Now is the time when you can also adjust the height of the posts. If 88″ is too tall for your needs, you can make them 7 ft, for example. Also check if the top of the posts is level one to another.


Building the frame of the grill cover



Next, we will be building the top plates for the lean to pavilion. This wooden gazebo requires 6×8 lumber, because of the large spans on the front and back. As you can see in the diagram, you need to make 3 5/8″ notches to the beams, so you can lock them together tightly.

Use a circular saw to make parallel cuts inside the marked areas and remove the excess with a chisel. Smooth the recesses with sandpaper. These joints will provide stable and durable joints for your frame.



Next, we will set the beams into place to the front and back of the pavilion. Align the edges flush for the front beam and leave 12″ side overhangs for  the back component. Check of the top of the posts are level one to another and make adjustments, if needed.

Drill pilot holes through the recesses and insert 8″ screws to lock them into place. Use 2 screws for each joint.



Continue the project by attaching the side top beams. Lay them into place and make sure they components join together smoothly. Drill pilot holes and insert 8″ screws to lock them down.



Build the braces for the front and back of the pavilion from 6×6 lumber. Use a miter saw to make 45 degree cuts to both ends of the braces. Fit the braces to the posts, after you plumb them vertically. Drill pilot holes and insert 5 1/2″ screws to secure the braces into place tightly. Insert 2 screws for each joint. 

Adding braces to your pavilion is like giving it a sturdy backbone, making sure it stays strong and steady even when it’s windy or faced with other challenges outside.


Framing the roof structure



Fit the 6×6 supports for the ridge beam to the top of pavilion. Plumb the supports with a spirit level. Use L tie connectors to secure the end supports to the frame of the pavilion (2 for each support).

Use post to beam supports to secure the middle support. Insert 2 1/2″ structural screws to lock the beams together tightly, using the connector. 



Fit the 6×8 ridge beam to the top of the supports. Notice the 12″ overhangs to the front and back of the pavilion. Use post to beam connectors with 1 1/2″ structural screws to lock everything together tightly. Make sure the corners are square and align the edges flush.



Use 6×6 lumber for the top braces. Make 45 degree cuts at both ends of the braces. Secure the braces into place with 5 1/2″ screws. Drill pilot holes before inserting the screws.

Use at least 2 screws for each joint. These braces will really reinforce the structure and add extra-support to the ridge beams. Notice the diagram for info on how to cut the middle braces that will add some extra-support to the ridge beam. 


Finishing touches



Check out PART 2 of the project to learn how to build the lean to roof for our 4 post project. You can see in this image the overall dimensions for the backyard gazebo.

You can use the 4 post 12×16 pavilion with a lean-to roof for various outdoor activities such as hosting gatherings, relaxing in the shade, enjoying meals with family and friends, or even as a shelter for outdoor events like barbecues or parties.

12x16 pavilion - side view

12×16 pavilion – side view

12x16 lean to pavilion plans

12×16 lean to pavilion plans

For the finishing touches, fill the holes with wood putty and let them dry out for a few hours. Smooth the surface with 100-220 grit sandpaper and remove the residues with a damp cloth.

Top Tip: Apply a few coats of paint or stain to the components, to enhance the look of the project and to protect the components from the elements. Check out the Shop, as well, for full list of Premium Plans.



This woodworking project was about 12×16 lean to pavilion plans. If you want to see more outdoor plans, check out the rest of our step by step projects and follow the instructions to obtain a professional result.







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